Fire marshals said a two-alarm blaze that tore through a three-story home in Jackson Heights on May 12th started in a closet where four candles had been burning in front of a Hindu religious statue.
Firefighters arrived at the house at 30-46 71st Street just after midnight and raced into heavy smoke and flames where they pulled cousins Sharon and Jasmine Basta, ages 6 and 8, from a second-floor bedroom, an FDNY spokesperson said.
The girls were lifeless, unresponsive and unconscious when firefighters from Ladder Co. 292- Rescue 4 pulled them from the blaze. Firefighters applied several life-saving techniques at the scene, but the girls did not respond, fire officials said.
The girls, cousins Jasmine Basra and Sahron Basra, both 7, were taken to Weill Conell Medical Center Burn Unit, where they were listed in critical condition.
A third person pulled from the second-floor bedroom was not injured, according to the FDNY.